In the forests of Colombia, several populations of harlequin toads from the Genus Atelopus, cling to life by resisting the chytrid fungus. A new study on their skin bacteria revealed that the critically endangered Atelopus elegans, which was found to be infected by chytrid in the lowlands of Colombia, had far more anti-Bd bacterial activity than other sympatric uninfected species. In addition, thanks to this study, inhibitory isolates from these Atelopus species were isolated so that they can be used to test the effect of bioaugmentation of bacteria in tropical regions. However, the resistance of the population of Atelopus elegans to the presence of the fungus may also be due to the warmer temperatures, since Bd does not grow very well at temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius. In any case, this represents another great leap toward the application of bioaugmentation into tropical regions to halt the spread of chytridiomycosis before we lose any more splendid species of frogs.
Frog: 5, Fungus: 4